York Poetry Prize 2021

The York Poetry Prize is back!

Our major literary prize competition returns for its ninth year, with great cash prizes at stake.

As in previous years, the prestigious event is run by YorkMix, in association with York Literature Festival. Enter here

The judge for this year’s competition is Kim Moore.

The closing date for entries is midnight on Sunday, 4 July, 2021.

The full rules are here.

Meet the judge

Kim Moore

Our judge, Kim Moore, was born in 1981. She was a judge in the 2018 National Poetry Competition, and lives and works in Cumbria.

Her first full length collection, The Art of Falling was published in April 2015 and won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, joining illustrious former winners Seamus Heaney and J.M. Coetzee.

She won a New Writing North Award in 2014, an Eric Gregory Award in 2011 and the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize in 2012. Last year she was appointed as a judge for the 2020 Forward Prizes.

Her poems have been translated into many languages as part of the Versopolis Poetry Project, and you can read samples of her excellent work at that site.

Even though pandemic restrictions may be relaxed by the time our competition is over, we have decided to keep our winners event online-only, as last year.

Shortlisted poets will be invited (but not be obliged) to submit video of themselves reading their poems, and these readings will be used when the winners are revealed.

Entries and prizes

The first prize is £500, with a runner-up award of £150, third prize of £75, and a fourth prize of £50.

A £50 award, the International Prize, will go to the best poem from a non-UK entrant. If a non-UK entrant is the overall winner or runner-up, the International Prize will be awarded to the next best non-UK entry.

The Helen Cadbury Prize of £50 will be awarded to an excellent poem from an entrant with a York (YO) postcode. If a YO-postcode entrant wins one of the top cash prizes, the prize will be awarded to the next best YO-postcode entry.

All entrants are eligible for the top prizes.

At the judge’s discretion, a number of Highly Commended and Commended certificates will be awarded.

All winners and Highly Commended poets will each receive a copy of the judge’s latest poetry collection.

In response to feedback from YorkMix readers, we have pegged our single-poem entry fee at last year’s rate, £7.50. 

A two-poem entry will be £12; three poems: £15; four poems £20; To encourage poets to show a range of styles and subject matter, a £25 entry fee will allow five to 10 poems to be entered in a single submission.

Poets who have experienced financial hardship as a result of the Covid epidemic, may have a free single-poem entry on application. Details are at the end of the rules.